Bacon to cure ratio

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by rpooley, May 14, 2017.

  1. rpooley

    rpooley

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    I am making the bacon recipe from Michael Ruhlmans Charcuterie book. The amount of curing salt mixture he recommends is kind of barely covering the meat. Will it just take longer or is it a problem with the finished product?
     
  2. maryb

    maryb

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    Without knowing the recipe and how many pounds of bacon no clue...
     
  3. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    I recommend that you use % of weight for your salt, cure, sugar vs 3 TBSP & 1/4 cup, etc. This method is much more accurate.
    You need to have an accurate digital scale. Weigh your meat, convert that to grams. Your cure will be 2-2.5% of the meat weight in salt, .25% cure#1, 1.5% sugar. For my taste, 2% salt is perfect, 2.5% was too salty, just depends on how salty you like things. Example, for a 10lb belly there is 4536g. 2% salt is 90.72g, cure is 11.34g, sugar is 68.84.
    Mix all together rub all over the belly and place in a zip bag or vacuum seal, turn it daily and massage the cure into the meat. Should take about a week. Rinse, let dry in the fridge on a rack uncovered for at least 24 hrs, this will let the smoke adhere better. Smoke low temp if you can, I do 150 for 4 hrs then bring it up to 175 or so for about an hour until IT hits 160
     
  4. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Ruhlmans recipe has plenty of salt. I even cut back a bit.

    12 on belly takes about a week. You can tell when it firms up. Remember to rinse at the end of the week to get rid of extra salt and then air dry overnight before smoking.
     
  5. rpooley

    rpooley

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    4 lbs pork bellly

    cure:

    450 g kosher salt

    225 g sugar

    56 g pink salt
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  6. rpooley

    rpooley

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    @chefbuba    Thanks for that.  I think my cure is closer to 4% following Ruhlman, hence @MillionsKnives  'too salty' comment probably.

    Will it cure faster?
     
  7. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    I screwed up a couple of bellies before I started using this method. Have made close to a dozen pieces and they always come out perfect. Salt is subjective, I'm salt sensitive so two percent is good for me, two & half max. Your mileage my vary..
     
  8. maryb

    maryb

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    I like my bacon salty so use 4%...
     
  9. rpooley

    rpooley

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    I forgot to add that that mixture is meant to be about 1/4 for 3-5#, which didn't seem like much
     
  10. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Try the method that I described earlier on your next batch. 4% salt is just too much.
     
  11. butzy

    butzy

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    I use about 2.5-3 % salt and that works for me.
    4% sounds way too high....

    I did find Ruhlmans recipes a bit inconsistent in use of cure and salt.
    If you want to do more curing and sausage making, I would advise to but Stanley Marianski's book: Home production of quality meats and sausages
     
  12. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    @rpooley  I use the same ratio from M. R.'s book

    What happens is it only takes a small amount of cure and liquid is pulled out and as you turn the bacon each day it cures. You can add more but be wary of over salting. The first few times I made it was completely paranoid of getting bacteria but if you cure it long enough and smoke it properly it is very easy. I make my own bacon regularly it is much better than store bought. Experiment with flavors I have added garlic and black pepper, maple and molasses, etc etc. 
    Article: Makin' Bacon
     
  13. rpooley

    rpooley

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    o. m. g.

    Big success, imho.   I took the large belly pieces out of the brine and made lots of slices to freeze for bacon and eggs, etc.  The trimmings will hide themselves in various concoctions of beans, sauerkraut, stews, etc.

    But to test, I fried 3 slices.  Terrific.  I'm hooked.  A bit salty as I suspected form people's experiences shared here but nothing a quick blanche can't fix.

    Thanks for all the input.
     
  14. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Just an fyi I've been making bacon for over eight years and the bellies I've gotten recently were BOAR TAINTED, made from UNcastrated hogs.   After the two week curing process they still tasted raw and untreated out of the frying pan.  The odor and flavor were "off".   This is just a warning/fyi.   A vendor told me that occasionally bellies from uncastrated hogs make it thru to the vendor.
     
  15. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Nothing like boar taint.
     
  16. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Neither the saltyness nor the cure flavours came thru.
     
  17. maryb

    maryb

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    Boar bacon is plain nasty. I got some and tossed 4 pounds because it was inedible.
     
  18. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    My vendor is kind enough to work out an exchange with me and is seeking out another supplier.  This isn't the first time he's sold something with boar taint.  Also fwiw I contacted a major supplier in the area and the latter stated that occasionally a boar tainted belly comes thru.
     
  19. apprentichef

    apprentichef

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    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    kokopuffs likes this.
  20. rpooley

    rpooley

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    Hey, that's pretty slick.  Just enter the meat weight and voila!